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plarblman

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#21 [url]

Apr 14 16 4:31 PM

Sorry for triple-posting, but I'm thinking of referring to each character solely by a name I give them, partly because it's easier for me to remember, and partly because it's funnier to me.

Allison Green / MegaGirl = Strong Female Protagonist

Menace = Asian Anti-villain Asshole

Furnace = Douchey White Superhero

Hector = Milquetoast Mexican Munchkin

Mary = Psycho Female Slasher (Get it? SFP, PSF, I am such a hack)

And so on.

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thisgirl

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#22 [url]

Apr 14 16 7:16 PM

Does anyone remember when Webcomics used to be unshakeably and unapologetically offensive? Ahhh, those were the good ol' days, when the internet felt like--the internet. Like seriously, what's the point of having "no boundaries" when you're just gonna pedal this sort of SJW crap and be all like "oooh trigger warnings, and proper pronouns"?!

That "lets kill accused rapists, cuz we all know that 9.999/10 the chick is telling the truth. LISTEN AND BELIEVE PPL!" was disgusting, I honestly didn't finish the whole issue before just going "SCREW THIS." It's such a disturbing way of thinking. It'd be one thing if they played it as a "logical next step" in this hyper feminist character, but the fact that there's a lot of "but she's right, y'know..." just makes it clear that killing those men was the best (yet unfortunate) option.

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Shmeckie

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#23 [url]

Apr 14 16 10:33 PM

I thought it was telling (and depressing) when Webcomic Chat asked about boundaries and offending people, and immediately the responses were filled with "don't go too far, you might hurt someone's feelings!" I'm sorry, I must've been mistaken; I thought webcomics involved art. Now since when has art not been about pushing boundaries? It astounds me how true the horseshoe theory is; because now it's the left wingers that don't want to rock the boat, that worry about making waves, and that don't want to upset perceived social norms. Remember when that was the conservative nuclear family of the 1950's preaching that shit?

Honestly, as "edgy" as comics like this think they're being by "tackling issues", all you really have to do to be edgy in a webcomic these days is make a joke at the expense of a transsexual, and throw in the word "nigger" a few times. You'll rock the boat so hard it'll start taking on water. These days, people in creative fields are so coddled, infantile, and brainwashed that they churn out watered down, preachy garbage that appeals to no one but themselves. And this comic is a prime example of that.

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Sindy

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#24 [url]

Apr 15 16 7:23 AM

I agree with Shmeckie. Not doing anything because "you might hurt people's feelings" is the dumbest thing ever. They need to grow thicker skins if fiction can hurt their feelongs so badly they want it censored. Also that's a whole other can of worms with getting back to censorship being a thing.

[email protected] God DAMN. I've come across the comic during the rape arc because it was praised as one of the best webcomics ever on a review site. Hated the name instantly, I gave it the benefit of the doubt - maybe it's ironic. I read the drunk rape arc. Sure, it's a fucked up situation, sure she acts on a high horse, sure it's obvious everyone else is a strawman, but it raises awareness of a real issue. So I gave it the benefit of the doubt again and decided to read from the beginning. I quit at the end of the lizard girl arc. The preaching was too in your face.

​Seems like it only went downhill from when I read it. Now I have a sick fascination to go back and catch up.

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plarblman

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#25 [url]

Apr 15 16 8:01 PM

Aha... now it looks like we're getting to the point of professor asshole's lesson. Not only has he basically shot a big hole into SFP's axiom, but I'm guessing he's going to follow it up by saying that thanks to mutual distrust (prisoner's dilemma and all) there's no way for every single person to work together short of coercion.

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Kraken

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#27 [url]

Apr 20 16 1:48 PM

plarblman wrote:
Review's about 99% done. Just need to add links and images. Tell me what you think.

I think it's a fair review. I've actually gotten to like this comic, but the criticisms you offer are all valid.

The thing that makes this comic interesting to read for me (which is not the same as it being good) is the ambiguity about Alison (SFP) herself. I like the way she has a real dark side. When she confessed her repressed desire to solve everything with violence in Vol. 2 during her fight with blade-hands dude, that intrigued me. I didn't think the authors were making an idealized Mary Sue out of her... there's a part of her that really would like to just smash every person who dares to disagree with her. This is reinforced when she attacks a classmate and threatens to murder a crowd of protestors. These aren't admirable actions, and the character knows it, but under stress she defaults to violent solutions anyway. That makes her not always right, and not a dull bastion of morality and goodness.

So there's at least some willingness to explore areas of moral uncertainty rather than constantly preaching. I respect that.

On the other hand, there's still a lot of preaching. The Paladin character (black female one-legged Tony Stark, I guess) is especially tiresome to me. And there's some really clunky writing... I'm thinking of the head-spinningly abrupt resolution between Allison and her sister as an example. The comic deserves its write-up and its critique, and I think you've done a solid job, plarblman.

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plarblman

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#28 [url]

Apr 20 16 4:03 PM

I can entirely forgive SFP as being violent provided that the comic ensures that she's nuanced and that it's framed appropriately. That means that she suffers actual consequences for her choices; even if nobody can stop her, people will be a lot less willing to interact with her, and I don't just mean the knock-off WBC who are set against her from the start, I mean ordinary people. I can even forgive her feeling lost and confused when dealing with Mary, except for how she completely glosses over how Mary intends to basically terrorize humanity into stopping rape and is willing to let innocent people die along the way, or how the comic mentions the complications on due process superheroes introduce without ever bringing it up again. Even a child can point out the problems with this thinking.

I'll go back and try to fill out some more stuff so that I have more solid criticisms for the stuff other than with Mary.

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Kraken

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#29 [url]

Apr 21 16 8:27 AM

plarblman wrote:
I can entirely forgive SFP as being violent provided that the comic ensures that she's nuanced and that it's framed appropriately. That means that she suffers actual consequences for her choices; even if nobody can stop her, people will be a lot less willing to interact with her, and I don't just mean the knock-off WBC who are set against her from the start, I mean ordinary people. I can even forgive her feeling lost and confused when dealing with Mary, except for how she completely glosses over how Mary intends to basically terrorize humanity into stopping rape and is willing to let innocent people die along the way, or how the comic mentions the complications on due process superheroes introduce without ever bringing it up again. Even a child can point out the problems with this thinking.

I'll go back and try to fill out some more stuff so that I have more solid criticisms for the stuff other than with Mary.

All good points. There's enough ambiguity that it keeps it interesting, but I agree it could be handled a lot better.

For instance, in the latest arc when Allison tells the professor "I don't like bullies," I thought his response was good. But I'm not sure if the writers are aware of just how deeply hypocritical that statement is coming from Allison. She's an atrocious bully. Maybe the authors recognize this... maybe this is even meant to be an unconscious expression of her own self-loathing? But maybe not. As you say, Allison is too insulated from the consequences of her actions to give me faith that the authors are aware of what they're doing.

She also adopts the assumed populist "we" when she tells the prof that "we" (as in the whole class) are scared of him. He calls her on this (good), but how much do the authors realize how ludicrous this is? Personally, if I was in that class, I'd be scared of Allison. Not scared of failing a class, but scared for my life. Just having her in the class would be like having someone known for mass shootings sitting there with a gun strapped to her back. I don't know that I'd go to the same school with her, much less sit in the same room.

Anyway, I'm perfectly ready to acknowledge that something I enjoy can still be quite bad. I think there are interesting seeds in SFP, but the authors' habit of layering manure over them doesn't necessarily make them grow.

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#30 [url]

Apr 24 16 5:48 PM

Excited to read the review, I'm on the first Issue and I keep getting distracted by her shapeshifting hair.

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plarblman

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#31 [url]

Apr 26 16 10:11 AM

As expected, SFP flips out and learns nothing. I started reading the comments, a handful of people pointed out that the point of a philosophy class is to provoke students into thinking about their ideas, but most people are just saying the teacher's being a needless dick for not catering to SFP's delicate sensibilities.

Anyway, I'll have the review done soon.

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Long Tom

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#32 [url]

Apr 26 16 2:36 PM

I see the review is up, and I read it and made some spelling corrections, and added an Enraging tag to the review listing.

Beyond that, the review is quite powerful and I wish I could write ones that are so incisive.

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Kraken

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#33 [url]

Apr 26 16 3:12 PM

plarblman wrote:
As expected, SFP flips out and learns nothing. I started reading the comments, a handful of people pointed out that the point of a philosophy class is to provoke students into thinking about their ideas, but most people are just saying the teacher's being a needless dick for not catering to SFP's delicate sensibilities.

Anyway, I'll have the review done soon.

The most mystifying part of this is the classmate saying "Yo, this class rules." What exactly is he cheering? I have no idea.

That panel gives a sense of putting a punctuation mark on this scene, which is a pity. Maybe it will continue. I'd like to see the prof. tell Allison why her alleged axiom is tyrranical.

I say "alleged" because I think Allison has yet to understand any of the difficult implications of "we're all in this together." She's still at the selfish stage where she believes that everyone, deep down, shares her exact values. Or if they don't, they can be safely excluded from the "we" in "we're all in this together," and thus (according to her past actions) justifiably bullied, harmed, or killed.

In any case, she's really incredible at learning the wrong lesson:
SFP: "Here's my philosophy!"
PROF: "I'll easily point out one massive hole in your philosophy. What have you learned?"
SFP: "Double down on my philosophy!"

I'm still interested, because I think at some level the authors have some grasp what an immature and dangerous creature Allison is. So maybe there's hope.

Anyway, good review, plarblman.

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plarblman

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#34 [url]

Apr 26 16 10:18 PM

I think the point the professor was trying to make was that, in scenarios that require full cooperation to pull off (aka a perfect solution) not everyone is going to be on board for various reasons, so the only way to do it is through coercion.

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#35 [url]

Apr 27 16 5:23 AM

plarblman wrote:
I think the point the professor was trying to make was that, in scenarios that require full cooperation to pull off (aka a perfect solution) not everyone is going to be on board for various reasons, so the only way to do it is through coercion.

and if that's the point - then I would argue that the webcartoonit did it really poorly, and made the professor come off as a very unsympathetic jackass

but I think the worst part of this classroom arc is that there doesn't seem to be a point to it. This professor just appeared out of thin air with a lesson seemingly designed exclusively for our SFP

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#37 [url]

Jun 6 16 9:26 PM

Too much use of the set up perhaps?

I mean, presumably the point of making Allison a college student is to introduce these philosophy bits without being too contrived or hamfisted. There's really no more normal place for most people to outright discuss philosophy than a philosophy class. But do it too much and it can come off as excessively formulaic. 

Overall I don't dislike the comic. It stumbles a lot, even if I suspect some of that stumbling is deliberate, but I don't know if it really counts as bad. 

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SmashLampjaw

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#38 [url]

Jun 8 16 3:44 AM

Kraken wrote:
I say "alleged" because I think Allison has yet to understand any of the difficult implications of "we're all in this together." She's still at the selfish stage where she believes that everyone, deep down, shares her exact values. Or if they don't, they can be safely excluded from the "we" in "we're all in this together," and thus (according to her past actions) justifiably bullied, harmed, or killed.
It's funny how she says that, yet when her stupid ass walks into the path of a bus in chapter 1, causing it to crash into her and stop, she gets annoyed at the bus driver for yelling at her, "Who's gonna pay for this?!"

I guess "We're all in this together" is the first half of a sentence that ends in, "so cater to me or else you're being selfish and will deserve whatever I do to you."

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Kraken

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#39 [url]

Jul 12 16 8:00 AM

In our not-so-action-packed story, Alison is now sitting in on a support group for mutants with severe physical deformations.

http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-61-3/

So far, the group seems to have decided the words "body" and "beauty" are triggers. I have to chuckle about the idea of some sort of Political Correctness Singularity, in which every word gains offensive overtones to someone and the support group has to sit around in complete silence.

This is one of those areas where SFP both succeeds and fails for me. I can feel a lot of empathy for the characters whose bodies (oops! I said it!) have been so radically changed that they feel they have no place in the world. That's a comic archetype that goes back to The Thing and has always been really fascinating.

In this depiction of the support group, I could almost give Mulligan and Ostertag credit for providing a perfect illustration about how the well-meaning Self Esteem culture goes awry. Liquid-girl feels triggered by the word "body." Okay, so I've never been turned into a puddle... I can believe she's having a hard time. But instead of helping her process her trauma and grow stronger, the support group's approach is to basically reinforce her wound. It's no longer Liquid-girl's wound to heal--everybody else has to accept this wound as a sanctified part of her character and adjust their behavior to accomodate, even though it's perfectly clear that nobody is using the word "body" with the intention to hurt. How is that going to help her?

Then in the next page, we have a Fish-girl who basically calls bullshit on the whole "everyone is beautiful" platitude. At first I felt "Oh Christ, not another trigger," but then I realized I admired Fish-girl's stance. By the value of "beauty" she's most interested in (i.e., physical attractiveness), it's absurd to call her beautiful, and she knows it. She's accepting her new reality, harsh as it is, and looking for ways to make the best out of it. She's rising above the group mentality here.

Mulligan & Ostertag show glimpses of self-awareness in their writing, which makes me hope they at least acknowledge the other side of the equation when they present a scene like this. But not always. It's why SFP is a comic I find about equal parts interesting and exasperating.

Last Edited By: Kraken Jul 12 16 8:04 AM. Edited 1 time.

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Brerose

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#40 [url]

Aug 2 16 12:16 PM

Current arc with Alison's new boyfriend left me pretty optimistic, as I thought it was going to show that a 'rich white male' isn't necessarily a bad guy.

And then it immediately makes him a bad guy out of nowhere because...bad writing or something? Like, out of nowhere it pulls 'he has illegal gardeners therefore he's bad, Alison keeps telling him what to do so he's 'don't tell me what to do ever' after a week of dating and he's the bad one in the relationship'.

I really had faith for this comic. I should stop putting my faith in webcomics, I think.

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